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Heritage Bank Urges Start-ups to Make Nigeria ICT Hub

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  • Heritage Bank Urges Start-ups to Make Nigeria ICT Hub

Heritage Bank Plc has urged applicants of HB Lab start-ups to support Nigeria’s aspiration and roadmap to become a leading Information and Communication Technology hub in Africa.

In a statement, the Executive Director of the bank, Jude Monye, said this at the maiden edition of the new innovation-driven concept, HB LAB yesterday, in Lagos.

Monye commended the contestants who made it to the LAB, while urging them to replicate the Rwanda’s ICT digital tech system feats.

He canvassed for indigenous production of advanced technological systems, as against leaving the core job in the hands of foreigners.

Addressing the applicants, Monye said, as usual, the financial powerhouse was known for supporting and sponsoring investment ideas that had the potency of challenging the status quo with the motive of impacting positively on the critical sectors of the nation’s economy.

According to him, the management of Heritage Bank was always seeking viable business ideas that could compliment the fiscal policies of the government with the ultimate aim of growing and developing the aggregate economy.

He stated, “At Heritage Bank, we help aspiring entrepreneurs to create, preserve and transfer wealth. What we are gathered here for today, is another moment of innovation-driven concept that is expected to provide startup enterprises with enabling environment, resources and support required to innovate and accelerate impactful solutions for the economic development drives.”

For this maiden edition, Monye explained that Heritage Bank had ceded the professional handling of the 12-week competition to a consultancy firm.

According to him, this was done to allow for professionalism, fair-play and objectivity.

He stated that his management was not really particular about any sector of the economy, as the winner could emerge from any industry as long as his proposal was strong enough to impact positively on the various sectors.

“We are not zeroing in on any particular idea or industry; we are more interested in the result achievable in different sectors,” he stated.

About 154 applicants who applied were reviewed, 30 who made above average score and grouped into 10 teams, while at the end of the 12 weeks programme, it will produce the best Tech start-up as a team.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Former First Bank Chairman, Ibukun Awosika Joins Binance Advisory Board

A former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika has been appointed to the Binance Advisory Board

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Ibukun Awosika

A former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika has been appointed to the Binance Advisory Board. 

Investors King learnt that one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange companies, Binance, has appointed Ibukun Awosika on its advisory board. Binance is believed to be the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. 

The former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria was selected among other eminent people which include Max Bacus Former U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China; Hyung-Rin Bang, advisor of the Korea Presidential Committee; Bruno Bézard, managing partner at Cathay Capital, former economic advisor to the French Prime Minister and ex-head of the French Treasury; Henrique de Campos Meirelles. 

The list also includes a former president of the Central Bank of Brazil; Leslie Maasdorp, the chief financial officer of the New Development Bank; Adalberto Palma, former senior advisor to the President of Mexico; Christin Schäfer, founder of ACS Plus; Ed Vaizey, a member of the UK House of Lords; David Wright, chair of Eurofi. 

The appointment of the advisory board will help the Binance exchange to break new boundaries in the face of crypto regulation challenges. 

It should be recalled that in June 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ordered Binance to halt all UK-regulated activity over worries about weak consumer protection. Similarly, in May 2021, Bloomberg News reported that Binance is being investigated by the United States Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service for money laundering and tax evasion. 

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also banned cryptocurrency-related transactions in Nigeria. In a circular released in February 2021, the Central bank reaffirm a 2017 directive to financial institutions to block any account that transacts in cryptocurrency. 

However, despite the overwhelming opposition to cryptocurrency, millions of retail investors keep embracing it, especially in West Africa. 

In July 2022, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) rated the West African country third among countries with the highest number of cryptocurrency holders in Africa. The report also stated that more than 13 million Nigerians are in possession of digital assets

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Hundreds of MSMEs And Underserved Communities to Benefit From Microsoft And ICE Power Project

Microsoft and ICE Commercial Power have entered a partnership agreement to power hundreds of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and underserved communities. 

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MSME

Microsoft and ICE Commercial Power have entered a partnership agreement to power hundreds of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and underserved communities. 

ICE is a Nigeria-based affordable and renewable energy provider that deploys microgrids to help small and medium businesses which have limited or no access to power supply. 

In a pilot programme, ICE had earlier deployed 20 solar microgrids to connect about 170 underserved small businesses across three communities in Nigeria. The pilot program was undertaken in Edo, Delta and Ondo States.

In a statement released by the company, ICE Commercial Power noted that it understood the electricity challenges of small businesses and underserved communities in Nigeria, especially at a time when the cost of energy is exorbitantly high. 

Investors King earlier reported that because of the hike in the price of diesel, the cost of doing business in Nigeria has increased by more than 50 percent in 2022. This has adversely impacted the profitability of many businesses. 

According to ICE Commercial Power, “Many of Nigeria’s SMEs rely on using generators to provide power, but these machines can be unreliable, and the fuel and maintenance costs are high”.

“The African Development Bank noted that Nigerians spend about $14bn on generators and fuel yearly in order to avoid crippling downtime for their businesses.

“SMEs play a vital role in driving economic growth and job creation on the continent. Connecting SMEs to alternative energy sources helps to minimise downtime and maximise productivity.” the statement read. 

ICE Commercial Power further stated that the power project in partnership with Microsoft will connect businesses and underserved communities to reliable and affordable clean energy. 

The company also declares that users will be able to monitor their energy usage online to have significant control over their energy consumption.

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Jumia Partners With Coca-Cola to Improve Customers Experience

Jumia, Africa’s leading e-commerce platform, has partnered with Coca-Cola Africa to offer Coca-Cola products to consumers in the comfort of their homes. 

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Coca-cola - Investors King

Jumia, Africa’s leading e-commerce platform, has partnered with Coca-Cola Africa to offer Coca-Cola products to consumers in the comfort of their homes. 

The partnership will enable Jumia to reach out to millions of Coca-Cola customers through the Jumia platform.

Both wholesale and retail consumers can get the products at an affordable price and at the fastest delivery time. 

According to Romain Christodoulou, Jumia’s Chief Commercial Officer, “We are happy to partner with Coca-Cola to meet consumer demand for everyday products at the fastest delivery time and at affordable prices.

“Coming after the launch of our Quick Commerce stores, we are happy to let our consumers know that they can expect their delivery of beverages in under 20 minutes, offering convenience at its best,”

Similarly, Coca-Cola believes the partnership will bring its products closer to the consumer, especially those who prefer to shop online. 

The company’s Vice President for Customer and Commercial Leadership, Minas Vourodimos stated that Coca-Cola is pleased with its partnership with Jumia which will make Coca-Cola directly available to consumers in their homes. 

“Through this, we will be offering an alternative for easy and fast access to Coca-Cola brands across several beverage categories”. She added.

Investors King gathered that the Jumia and Coca-Cola partnership is one of the many strategic partnerships the African e-commerce giant has made in the last nine months. 

It could be recalled that early this month, Jumia partnered with Ziplan to start using drones for delivery services. This will help Jumia to reach rural and remote areas in Africa which could be hard or impossible to reach through conventional methods.

Subsequently, shopping on Jumia will be faster, more convenient, sustainable and accessible.

When the Jumia drone delivery service becomes operational, it will give Jumia the leverage to better serve its customers and subsequently increase the company’s revenue.

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